Wednesday, May 30, 2012

GP RELEASE Green Party FAQ: What the media should know about Green pres. candidates & the nomination‏

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Green Party FAQ: What the media should know about the race for the
Green presidential nomination, Green ballot lines, and the 2012 Green
National Convention
• 2012 Green Presidential Nominating Convention, July 12-15 in
Baltimore, Md.
Media Credentialing page
• Green Party Livestream Channel, featuring videos of Green
presidential candidates addressing the Iowa Green Party on May 26
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Green Party has compiled a list of the most
frequently asked questions from journalists about the Green
presidential candidates, 2012 Green National Convention, and the party
itself. Greens invite journalists to use this FAQ guide as a resource
for information throughout this election year and to contact us for
more information.
• Who are the candidates competing for the Green Party's presidential
Roseanne Barr
Kent Mesplay
Jill Stein
Jill Stein is the frontrunner, having won 138 of the 184 delegates
assigned so far. Roseanne Barr, in second place, has been endorsed by
the Green Party Black Caucus and the Green Party of Philadelphia.
Greens have welcomed Kent Mesplay, now recognized by the Green Party
as a presidential candidate, to the race.
See also:
Green presidential campaign news
Candidates' bios
Results of state Green Party primaries, conventions, and caucuses
• How will the Green nominee be chosen?
State Green Parties have been participating in primary elections and
hold statewide conventions and caucuses to apportion delegates for the
nomination, which will take place on Saturday, July 14 at the Green
Party's 2012 National Convention in Baltimore, Md.
( The convention runs from July 12 to
July 15 will be held on the campus of the University of Baltimore.
During the one or more rounds of voting by delegates, the first
presidential candidate to gain more than half of the votes will win
the nomination.
The 50 states, District of Columbia, and US territories have widely
varying rules for party status and ballot access, so the various state
Green Parties have their own rules for choosing delegates. The Green
Party is tracking the results of the state primaries, conventions, and
caucuses (
• Can the media attend the Green Party's 2012 National Convention?
What will be the highlights?
The Green Party invites and encourages journalists from all media to
cover the convention. Bloggers are invited too. We urge journalists to
let us know they will attend and cover the convention by registering
on our Media Credentialing page
(, so that we can prepare
for their participation and better accommodate them. Journalists can
also register on site.
The Green Party will hold an introductory press conference on
Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. More press conferences will take place on
Friday and will feature Green candidates for state and local office
and current Green officeholders.
On Saturday (nomination day), a press conference at 9 a.m. will
introduce the presidential candidates. There will be a reserved media
section for journalists in the auditorium where the nomination takes
place. After the nomination, the Green Party will hold a press
conference for the presidential and vice presidential nominees,
probably beginning between 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
The University of Baltimore venues for the press conferences and the
nomination will be announced as the convention approaches, as will the
names of Green state and local candidates and officeholders
participating in press conferences and other convention details. We
invite journalists at the convention to meet Green Party members,
explore other events on the schedule, and get to know us.
• How many ballot lines will the Green Party have on Election Day?
The Green Party of the United States is aiming for at least 46 state
ballot lines. The party is currently on the ballot in 20 states. More
• Why does the Green Party run presidential candidates, when it's so
unlikely they will win on Election Day?
The most important reason is that Americans deserve a real choice on
Election Day. Voters deserve the right to vote for whichever
candidates best represent their interests, ideals, and values --
without being told that their choice is restricted to two candidates.
The Democratic and Republican parties together represent a narrow
range of ideas and policies. Both established parties and their
candidates accept millions of dollars in contributions from powerful
corporate lobbies. The Green Party and Green candidates accept no
corporate money.
The Green presidential ticket leads the party's slate of candidates
for all offices. The nominees express the party's platform,
principles, and positions and generate national attention for the
Green Party. They also help raise publicity and contributions for
state and local candidates during their campaign tours.
Some states use numbers of votes cast for a presidential candidate
among their qualifications for party recognition.
• What challenges do Green candidates face in their campaigns?
The greatest challenges are the grossly unfair and antidemocratic
election rules in many states. Democratic and Republican politicians
in such states have together enacted ballot access rules that
privilege themselves and obstruct independent and alternative party
Pennsylvania in recent years has required Democratic and Republican
candidates in statewide elections (for Governor, US Senator,
President) to hand in ballot petitions with at least 2,000 valid
signatures, while requiring a minimum number "equal to 2 per cent of
the total vote of the highest vote cast in the state in the previous
election" (ranging between 20,000 and 67,000 in recent elections) from
alternative party and independent candidates, along with the threat of
excessive, financially ruinous fees for trying to qualify for the
In Alabama, a party on the ballot by petition or by a previous
statewide vote can retain ballot access through the next election by
polling 20% for president. In Oklahoma and Virginia, the same process
requires 10%. (See
Greens, often in coalition with other parties, have worked to overturn
unfair rules by petitioning state legislatures and filing lawsuits.
There are current or pending lawsuits with the Green Party as a
plaintiff in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Greens in Georgia, where 2008 Green presidential nominee Cynthia
McKinney has announced her run for the US House, have filed a lawsuit
along with the Constitution Party against their state's ballot access
laws, which have been called the most obstructive in the US
Green presidential candidates are routinely excluded from debates
sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which is
owned and operated by the Democratic and Republican parties. The CPD
took over the debates from the League of Women Voters in 1988 for the
purpose of barring other parties' candidates, as internal memos from
the CPD have shown.
Finally, Green candidates must sometimes deal with the mistaken belief
among some voters that only Democrats and Republicans are the only
"legitimate" candidates or that a two-party limit is enshrined in the
US Constitution.
• Are Greens concerned that a Green presidential candidate might
affect the election outcome in 2012, after accusations that Ralph
Nader gave us eight years of George W. Bush in 2000?
Al Gore very likely won Florida and therefore won the 2000 election.
("[A consortium of news organizations], looking at a broader group of
rejected ballots than those covered in the court decisions, 175,010 in
all, found that Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a
full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots." New York Times,
November 12, 2001,
The 2000 accusation is based on the idea that obstruction of voters,
manipulation of vote counts, and a possible election theft by a major
party (the GOP) are less dangerous to our democracy than the right of
an alternative party to participate fair and square. The accusation
suggests that some parties are entitled to votes and others are not.
Greens are less concerned about the Obama-Romney contest than with the
fact that neither has an adequate jobs program, climate-change action
program, or plan to halt home foreclosures; both have embraced
military attacks without provocation on other countries; both join
their parties in favor of the $600 billion "fiscal cliff" for the
post-election lame duck Congress; both favor profits for the health
insurance industry over the right of all Americans to quality health
care (Medicare For All); both support indefinite detention without due
process and other violations of constitutional and international law.
Neither corporate-sponsored party protects our rights or addresses the
crises we face.
Greens encourage Americans who want fair and open elections to help us
replace at-large and winner-take-all voting with important democratic
reforms like Instant Runoff Voting (also called Ranked-Choice Voting)
and Proportional Representation. Ireland has used IRV since 1937.
Runoffs were held in this year's elections in France and Egypt.
• What is the Green Party's relation to the Occupy Movement?
The Occupy Movement is nonpartisan and does not support any party or
candidate. Greens respect this principle and encourage Occupiers to do
what they do best -- build a popular movement against policies that
have enriched and empowered Wall Street (the "one percent") while
hurting working Americans.
All three Green presidential candidates, as well as many other Greens,
have participated in Occupy protests and on some occasions were asked
to speak at Occupy rallies. The Green Party's platform and positions
are consistent with the Occupy Movement's grievances about the growth
of corporate power and US government's descent into oligarchy,
military aggression, and ecological irresponsibility. We encourage all
voters who share these concerns to register and vote Green.
Green Party of the United States
• 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention, July 12-15 in
Baltimore, Md.
• Green candidate database and campaign information:
• News Center
• Speakers Bureau
• Ballot Access Page
• Video Page
• Green Papers
• Google+
• Twitter
• Livestream Channel
• GP-TV Twitter page
• Facebook page
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of
the United States

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